Anytime you eat, the bacteria in your mouth break down the carbohydrates in the food into acid that mixes with the saliva and food particles left behind to form plaque on your teeth.
You can prevent tartar and plaque from forming on your teeth by brushing your teeth and flossing regularly. But sometimes, tartar may be hard to remove, and you may need to see a dentist to get rid of it.
Removing tartar and plaque is part of good oral hygiene, and this will prevent gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, and other associated diseases like pneumonia and dementia.
Here is how you can remove tartar and plaque from your teeth.
Are Plaque and Tartar the same thing?
Most of the time, the words ‘tartar’ and ‘plaque’ are used interchangeably, but they do not mean the same thing. They are related, but they are not the same.
What is plaque?
After a dental cleaning, your teeth will appear white and so shiny. But after some time, your teeth will appear yellow and dull. The dull, yellow color comes from plaque. Plaque is a substance that is made from bacteria. Plaque accumulates on the teeth from above and below the gum line. Plaque makes your teeth less attractive, and it can damage your gums and teeth if you don’t have it removed.
Dental plaque can lead to Tartar
If you don’t remove plaque regularly, the minerals from your saliva will deposit on the plaque and cause it to harden within one day to three days, thereby turning the plaque to tartar. Tartar, the condition also identified as dental calculus, is a brown or yellow-colored deposit that forms when plaque hardens on the teeth. Plaque can be removed easily, but tartar can only be removed with the help of a dentist. Almost 70% of adults have tartar.
People with dry mouth, elderly people, smokers, and those with dry mouth have a higher chance of having tartar than others. The rate of tartar buildup varies from person to person, and the rate increases as one gets older.
The Best Ways of Removing Plaque
Buy a dental scraper
A dental scraper is a device used by a dentist to remove tartar from the teeth during intensive cleaning. Dental scrapers are long and thin with a metal end. The scraping process is not as painful as you may think. You take the scraper, stand with a mirror and scrape away at the tartar. You can purchase a dental scraper at your local pharmacy.
Dental floss helps to remove plaque from between your teeth and tartar away from places that are hard to reach for you. Even if you use your toothbrush regularly, you still need to floss.
Aloe vera and glycerine mixture
Aloe vera can help to keep your teeth free from plaque. Mix a teaspoon of aloe vera gel with a cup of water and half a cup of baking soda. Add four teaspoons of vegetable glycerine and some lemon essential oil. Scrub your teeth with this, and you can get rid of plaque.
Baking soda is a natural cleanser and abrasive that can help to remove plaque from your teeth. Research has found that those that brushed their teeth with toothpaste and baking soda mixture removed more plaque and witnessed less plaque growth than those who did not.
Oil pulling with the use of coconut oil
Oil pulling is a good way of removing bacteria from your mouth and improving your oral health. Coconut oil has lauric acid, which has antimicrobial properties. Also, coconut oil has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A 2015 study revealed that oil pulling using coconut oil resulted in a 50% reduction in dental plaque of participants in the study. The participants also experienced a reduction in gingivitis symptoms.
Tartar control toothpaste
Tartar control toothpaste contains a mixture of ingredients that will help fight tartar and plaque in your mouth. Some tartar control toothpaste contains triclosan, which is an antibiotic substance that can kill off several strains of bacteria.
Professional dental cleaning
Home remedies are okay, but a cleaning from a professional dental hygienist is the best. Dentists have special tools that can get plaque and tartar away from your mouth. Plus, they have a lot of experience mixed with their professional training. Visit the dentist at least twice a year to keep your teeth healthy and free of tartar and plaque.